A 67-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to touching himself sexually in front of three teen girls in a public library in Newport Beach. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the man was charged with one felony count of indecent exposure in Orange County. Officials say he has two prior convictions on similar charges – in 1999 and 2002. If convicted, the man faces three years in state prison. The alleged incident was reported by the three girls to the librarian on May 9. The man was arrested at a later date when he returned to the library.
According to California Penal Code Section 314, indecent exposure refers to the act where an individual willfully and lewdly “exposes his person, or the private parts thereof, in any public place, or in any place where there are present other persons to be offended or annoyed thereby.”
In order to convict someone of indecent exposure, prosecutors must prove that the defendant intentionally exposed himself; that the act occurred in a public area or in a place where other people were present and were likely to be offended or annoyed; and it was done with a specific intent such as sexual arousal or to offend someone. Indecent exposure may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the particular case and the criminal history of the defendant.